The bagpipes, most commonly seen in their Great Highland form from Scotland, are a loud and imposing musical instrument. Known for being difficult to practice quietly, they’re not the ideal thing to pick up in these times of quarantine and isolation. But, if you must, here’s how you can craft your own at home!
A garbage bag is used as the air bag for this design, readily available and easy to work with. A recorder is then installed into the bag to act as the chanter – the part of the instrument with with pitch is controlled by finger position. A second recorder is then installed as a drone, which produces the continuous harmonizing note typical of bagpipes. A pair of pens are used to create the blowpipe which supplies air to the instrument. Everything is then sealed up with tape and you’re ready to go!
While it’s not a great facsimile of an authentic Scottish bagpipe, it does work in the same way and make some noise. It would be interesting to see a talented player handle such a makeshift piece. Alternatively, consider some of the alternative DIY instruments we’ve featured before. Video after the break.
Continue reading “DIY Bagpipes Made From Common Household Items” →
Playing the bagpipes is an art that takes a significant effort to master, both in keeping a constant air supply through balancing blowstick and bag and in learning the finger positions on the chanter. This last task we are told requires constant finger practice, and a favorite place for this is on the steering wheel as a would-be piper drives. [DZL] therefore took this to the next level, placing touch sensors round a car steering wheel that could be interpreted by an Arduino Pro Mini to produce a passable facsimile of a set of bagpipes via an in-car FM transmitter. It lacks the drone pipes of the real thing, but how many other Škodas feature inbuilt piping?
We’ve covered an unexpected number of bagpipe projects over the years, but never had a close look at this rather fascinating musical instrument. If you are curious, the US Coast Guard pipe band has a short guide to its parts, and we’ve brought you a set of homemade pipes built from duct tape and PVC pipe. They may once have been claimed as an instrument of war, but they seem to also be a favorite instrument of hardware hackers.
Thanks [Sophi] for the tip.
To “pipe in” the new year, [John] decided to build a bagpipe-playing robot. Unlike other instrument-playing robots that we’ve seen before, this one is somewhat anatomically correct as well. John went the extra mile and 3D printed fingers and hands to play his set of pipes.
The brains of the robot are handled by an Arduino Mega 2560, which drives a set of solenoids through a driver board. The hands themselves are printed from the open source Enabling the Future project which is an organization that 3D prints prosthetic hands for matched recipients, especially people who can’t otherwise afford prosthetics. He had to scale up his hands by 171% to get them to play the pipes correctly, but from there it was a fairly straightforward matter of providing air to the bag (via a human being) and programming the Arduino to play a few songs.
The bagpipe isn’t a particularly common instrument (at least in parts of the world that aren’t Scottish) so it’s interesting to see a robot built to play one. Of course, your music-playing robot might be able to make music with something that’s not generally considered a musical instrument at all. And if none of these suit your needs, you can always build your own purpose-built semi-robotic instrument as well.
Continue reading “Ardu McDuino Plays The Bagpipes” →
We all want our very own personal bagpiper. Playing it ourselves is too much effort, and keeping a full time bagpiper around can be a pain. You have to feed them, clothe them, give them union breaks, etc. Luckily, modern technology has come to the rescue again. You can have your very own robot bagpiper. McBlare plays the bagpipe with technical proficiency that would be impossible for most humans. But lets hear it put some soul into it.